OAKLAND – After 82 games in the regular season and 10 more this postseason, Draymond Green is vowing to change his behavior on the court.
No more yapping at and pleading with the refs.
“It’s definitely something I’ve got to do because I can’t get suspended,” Green said after practice Saturday. “It’s something I was practicing in practice today.”
Consider, now, that one of the NBA’s most demonstrative players said this after the Warriors went through video study and a scrimmage – a scrimmage, by the way, in which Green said he exhibited good behavior despite an urge to protest Jarron Collins and Chris DeMarco, the assistant coaches who officiated the session.
“JC and DeMarco were refereeing, and they were calling terrible calls,” Green said. “I said, ‘You know what? I’m not talking to y’all. I’m going to keep my cool. I’m not talking to the referees. Just play basketball.’ I was good today.”
Warriors forward Harrison Barnes seconded that, saying it Saturday’s scrimmage “was a quiet practice” and that he believes Green is committed to self-policing. Barnes also said it’s going to be quite the test for his teammate when the Western Conference Finals begin Monday night.
“Let’s take it day by day,” Barnes said. “Today was a great day, if we can continue to build and go from there, we’ll be just fine.”
Green has been assessed four technical fouls in 10 postseason games, most of anyone in the playoffs and a rate that begs trouble. He’s acutely aware that a seventh technical results in an automatic one-game suspension.
At this stage, Green, whose 13 regular-season technical fouls ranked third in the NBA, says he won’t even bother protesting calls because he knows himself well enough to realize even mild protest could turn into a blowup.
“I’ve got to practice it now, though, because it’s habit,” he said. “I’m working on it.
“That’s something I have to focus on,” he added. “And I haven’t focused on it at all in these playoffs. But I’m focused on it now. Usually, when I focus in on something, I can do pretty well at it. And I’m stubborn enough to do well at it because I have to prove to myself that I can do it. And I always want to prove whomever I’m trying to prove is wrong, and in this case it’s myself.
“I think I’m going to do a really good job with it. Don’t be surprised if I finish this postseason with five techs. I’m going to give myself a little wiggle room.”
After seeing Green whistled for so many technical fouls, Warriors coach Steve Kerr decided to have a chat with his power forward after team’s five-game ouster of Portland in the conference semifinals.
Green rather ignored it.
“I still wasn’t focused in on it,” Green said, “because when he talked to me I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll be fine.’ I kind of laughed about it.”
“I’m locked in on it now. It’s a game within the game for me. I’m excited about it."